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Our Adventures

Our life in all it’s ridiculousness. All true stories. Some funny, some amazing, some sad. *NOTE* I used to have at least a dozen different categories. One for funny, one for just cows and chickens, even one for just the garden. In order to clean things up a bit though, I’ve lumped them all together into this one. Our Adventures. Enjoy!

The Most Hideous Outfit Known to Man

We went clothes shopping today, and I found this.

The most hideous outfit known to man, y’all. I mean look at it! It looks like a garbage bag left in a closet so long a giant moth tore holes into it!

After I showed it to my husband, I couldn’t help it. I had to try it on!

I took it into the dressing room and pulled it over my head, thinking it was a long shirt with super ugly powers. I had a hard time pulling the bottom down to where it needed to go. Surely my hips weren’t that big were they? Then I realized. It’s not a shirt. It’s a full outfit with shorts!

Ohmagosh!

I am now stuck in one of this thing’s leg holes trying to figure out how to get out. As I tug on the bottom end, my arms now over my head, housing my upper torso in unseemly wannabe taffeta, I contemplate asking a total stranger for help, not really caring about my potential nudity at this point. Us girls have to stick together, right?

When I finally did get it off, I stepped into it this time and then, not believing my eyes, took pictures for the world to see (because you cannot describe this level of ugly in words, people), laughing the whole time.

Then I really got into it and started posing.

I’m not going to post the rest, because they get really embarrassing. Just imagine a woman in a garbage bag mocking models while laughing uncontrollably.

And just remember, no matter what you’re wearing, it can’t be as bad as this.

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Oh, the dreams we have!

I rarely get those dreams we all see on TV where your spouse is wearing a bunny costume and throwing walnuts at you, and everywhere a walnut hits you grow an eye and lose a thumb (see The Dick Van Dyke Show). But last night I did. Not the bunny thing. In fact, not even the walnuts and thumbs. The eyes though…

Anyway, so last night everything that’s been haunting me came into play. Query letters flew at my face with obvious, hideous errors screaming at me with paranormal wails. I tried to reach out and correct them. Was it too late? Could I resend them? It was a heartbreaking moment of watching my future with a literary agent float away like a ghost of my past. Oh, and get this, these were actual query letters I have recently written with detailed accuracy of every word in them. Except for the errors. Those were added in by my brain demons.

I’ve always been able to control my dreams, ever since I was 10, or thereabouts, and when the next part came up, I said, “No.” Although it was more of a “NO!”. And it wasn’t me. At least not the me I’m used to in my dreaming state. See, when I take control of my dreams, it’s a surreal halfway world, often difficult to wake up from (that part requires a lot of strength and determination and is quite exhausting), and planned well in advance. This “no” came from nowhere. I had only just begun to see the dream. I was still panicking and had not yet realized I even was dreaming. But that no came with a feral voice. The next part was work related.

The supervisor I recently had a run-in with was talking to me about something, I don’t remember, and the coworker who goes out of their way (not daily, minutely-no seriously, every possible chance to be had) to make my life difficult was doing something else. I honestly think I could remember what they both did if I really wanted to, but let me remind you about that negative scream I shouted the first time in response.

So there you have it, my weird dreams. Hopefully tonight will be filled with more enjoyable visions of grandeur.

Redneckgenuity

Yup. We’re rednecks. And proud of it. Our redneckgenuity has saved us thousands of dollars and untold heartache and time. It’s allowed us to do things we would never be able to do otherwise. Anyone who can’t appreciate that, well, we just can’t be friends. (insert appropriate emoji here)

Anywho, we bought a hot tub. Looks a lot like this.

It was used, of course, and they lied to us, of course. The pump was completely rusted and froze up, and the cover for the control panel is still missing. But, the jets and lights all worked, and the pipes were fairly clean.

We spent two months getting it to work, then several days cleaning and disinfecting it. We built a little room around it (still building), and as you can see, it was amazing, awesome, and beautiful.

And then…

We’re sitting in it, the roof finally overhead, and my son (whom I pretty much bought it for) says, “This is just like a real hot tub. It feels like it. It smells like it.” Hot tubs were always his favorite thing at hotels and such. Now we don’t have to worry about finding hotels with them, something I always tried to do because he loved them so much. Nor do we have to worry about the nasty, cause honey, I done seen me some nasty in them hot tubs!

So, right after he says this, the pump starts turning itself off and on. Off and on. I reach over to turn it off. No go. Arlis screams, “Get out! Get out!” We’re all worried it’s gone off the deep end or possessed by aliens like in Maximum Overdrive, and we’re about to be electrocuted any second. He pulls the breaker and it shuts off.

We spent the rest of the evening troubleshooting.

  • It overheated
  • There’s not enough water
  • The filter’s dirty
  • Blah blah blah

Nope. No success. Turns out, that missing top of the control panel was essential for keeping the water out, and as a result of its absence, water got into it.

We took it out, put it in rice, etc. Once dried. We hooked it back up and voila! It’s working again.

Now comes the problem. My original suggestion of Ziplock and duct tape won’t work, they say, because duct tape isn’t water resistant enough. They don’t make that control panel anymore, and even if we were able to get a cover for it, the gel that blocked the moisture from getting into the wiring had to be torn out to get it dry. No, we needed a safe place to mount it, and its original spot was not it.

So, we did this.

This first thing we did was fill up the hole. I found an old Tupperware dish I didn’t even know we had. Arlis cut the bottom out and ground down the edges, sanded it rough on one side and attached it over the hole of where the control panel originally sat with silicone caulking.

 

(I know the picture makes the water look gross, but it was dark.)

Then, we built a place for the control panel to safely rest yet be within reach should we want to use it.

Why yes, the cover is in bad shape. It’s called filling the holes with Great Stuff until we can afford a new one. And yes, it works AMAZING at keeping that sucker warm! Also, the top parts of the walls will be screened in instead of boarded up. This room is a work in progress.

And finally, we needed a way to keep the control panel from getting wet again when our wet fingers reached up and touched the buttons.

And there you have it, folks. Redneckgenuity at its finest. It works great again, and all it took was a bag of rice, and old Tupperware dish, and one Ziplock bag.

*Bows graciously*

Thank you. Thank you. 🙂

Down by the Creek Bed

Yesterday we went for a walk in our woods. Before we went, we made sure to carry the right equipment.

Don’t worry. I didn’t make him carry it the whole time. This was just while I was climbing the gate. For those who think I may be going overboard on this, you’ve obviously never encountered a wild boar before. Which we get plenty of. Unfortunately.

Along the way, we ran into many fungi.

I’m pretty sure these two are the same kind.

I think these are called fan mushrooms.

Sorry it’s so blurry, but I love this little purple dude!

It’s the Mario shroom! LOL!!

A full skeleton. Well, almost full. It was missing its legs, presumably taken away by coyotes and the like. Its fur was still there, underneath it. And this, my friends, is why we carry in the woods.

We also saw some very pretty flowers.

And the state flower (lol-it’s poison ivy)

Two Monarchs mating.


And finally, a restful bit by the creek. Please note that Boy, our best mouser, likes to go with us when we hike the woods. He’s such a great cat!

Rosh Hashannah, Shalom!!

Yes, we knew that buggy was stuck

(For the record. Timmy, Clive, the roommate and I are all good co-working friends. All things were done in fun.)

A couple of co-workers thought I was mean because I didn’t help a customer … or seven. Hey, my job’s boring. I gotta get my entertainment from somewhere. Please note, no one was hurt in any way because of this, and in fact, they probably learned something, which is more than can be said for the majority of their days I’m sure.

To refresh your memory, I work the self-checkout section of a large retail store. A lot of times, customers astound me with their actions. Take last night, when a woman kept bending over, peering into where the receipt comes from wondering where to put her dollars. So yes, I did wait until she asked me to come help her. I would have waited longer, this was getting good, but she asked for help. I’m not belligerent. So, I pointed out the clearly marked area with, get this, actual runway lights and the words “Cash in” printed in them. Yes, the area that takes your dollars literally has green lights that light up in sequence like they’re calling for a plane to land on them. No joke. I did this nicely, with a smile, heck I was wearing one anyway.

Another time I watched was when one of the kiosks was shut down. It had a sign on it, and the screen had a big red “X” that said “This register closed”. What more do people need? Please, tell me and I’ll start using it. I stood back and watched, astonished at the woman’s sheer lack of common sense, when a co-worker told me I was mean. Hey, I was about to tell her it was closed. This was my first time to experience this level of stupidity, and I was enjoying it. A story on that co-worker later. Trust me, it’s good. I went over to help her. Yes I was nice. No I wasn’t laughing at her. No she never knew I had been earlier.

So I’m reading a book in my car during lunch, and I go back to tell a co-worker about one of its passages: how the coachman got a kick out of watching the gentry folk try to get him out of a rut when he could have done it himself, simply because he wanted some entertainment. This co-worker, let’s call him Clive, (he’s going to be a common occurrence in these stories) laughs and nods. “I get people all the time that walk around me and all the buggies I have laid out for them to get their own.” He’s the person that stands by the front door and hands you carts. That job curtails a lot more than you would think, at least at my store. You can thank Clive for dried buggies, keeping the sanitizing wipes filled, and many other things you more than likely take for granted. He’s a great guy and a busy man. But anyway, he says, “I just let ’em walk past and try to take it. I know the buggy’s stuck, but I let them try until they give up. Then they look at me and go, ‘You knew this buggy was stuck, didn’t you?’ I nod and smile ‘hmm-hmm. Would you like one of these?’ and gesture to one of the ones already sitting out for them to take.”

I asked why they would surpass those instead of just taking what was already there. His flabbergasted face said, “When you find that out, you let me know!”

So yes, we most certainly have fun with you, and yes, we do it on purpose. You are our entertainment.

So back to that co-worker who called me mean. Let’s call him Timmy. There’s a button on the control panel for the kiosks that allows me to take control of them. It will display a message on the screen and say, “Please wait for assistance.” Timmy was clocked out for the day, and he and his roommate were buying their groceries. His roommate grabbed what he could and used another kiosk to make it go faster. I pressed the button. Every time Timmy would try to scan his 2-liter, I pressed it. He would go to bag it, only to hear the voice. I pressed it again, returning his control. He would wait until the kiosk returned to normal and then try to scan the 2 liter again. That would be when I pressed it again, making his screen change and the voice talk to him. This continued until I was doubled over crying with laughter. It kept telling him to rescan the items and everything. He spent several minutes trying to scan the same 2 liter. It was hilarious. Finally I felt sorry for him, after watching him scream at it, plead to it, and swivel around like someone looking for the hidden camera, and I asked him if he wanted me to stop.

“That was YOU?”

“Yes!” I laughed through tears.

His roommate held up a fist. “Awesome! Double points!”

Made. My. Night.

Help me. I work retail.

I’ve been meaning to do this for a long time, just haven’t had the time. But today I’m making the time. As I’m sure most of you are aware, I work … think SuperStore. Yeah buddy. And just like my Here’s Your Sign series when I worked there last time, I’m posting some of my fun moments. So, so fun moments.

I presently work at the self-checkout area. Let me clarify. The SELF-checkout area. This does not mean you ask me to ring you up personally at a kiosk while all the other customers have to wait on me to stop theirs from yelling at them, “Please wait for assistance!”.

The policy of our store is known to the world. “Steal from us. Please. We’ll even help you.” But there are a few things us employees are allowed to do. One of them is look inside large items being purchased, like suitcases, backpacks, purses, etc. Yes, even in SELF-checkout.

I got to put that allowance in action last night while trying not to laugh at two very sloppy thieves. Over time, you get to know the difference between lazy, disabled, methhead, poor, and many other subcultures of retail patrons. These two were just plain crazy. Hair sticking out all over the place like a cliche cartoon drawing of Einstein with glasses that would make Professor Trelawney jealous, these two old women kept looking up at me, a sure sign of something fishy. Most patrons who come through my area don’t want to be talked to. They want to be left alone. The last thing they do is watch me, unless they need something. So, I get to watching them and their order, and things aren’t adding up. Literally. Like their two foot tall pile of fabric that rings up for 97¢ and is called “baby jungle”. That kind of not adding up.

They had two buggies, one full of stuff, another to put the stuff in after it’s rung up. This is common, so I ignore it, but what I can’t ignore is the large tote they move from one buggy to the next without scanning it with the little wand. This is when I get to make my move.

“Did you get this?” I tap the tote.

“Yeah. Yeah.”

No, no they didn’t. “I don’t think it registered. Oh!” I “casually” look into the tote to see the large pile of fabric with a sticker of a UPC stuck to the real price tag. “Someone put the wrong sticker on here. Let me fix that for you.” I radio for a CSM. They would have to come do the void anyway, but I wanted them to see this. I took the sticker off and rummaged through their items as innocently as possible.

The CSM came by. “This was stuck to one of their tags. It needs to be voided off.” She voided it off, not really caring, and then left. I resumed my rummaging.

Their tote had many items. None of which had been rung up, nor were going to be from what I could tell. The pile of fabric had six UPC’s alone. Stuffed between the folds was clothing. I just handed each item to them, letting them ring it up. Three small plastic doo-dahs, quilting batting, toddler clothes… At that point I moseyed a few feet away, radioed the noncaring CSM, and as quietly as possible asked for the person who stops thieves. They weren’t in yet but would be later on.

Another CSM comes by, along with a manager. They had heard the radio chatter. At this particular time, the kiosks have a glitch where every 7 items, I have to press a button. I use this to my advantage, and instead of standing at my podium pressing buttons, I stand directly with them and fix it right there, acting ignorant as to what was wrong with it, assuring them I would look into their register as soon as they left, and apologizing for its misbehavior. While I’m personally handling this order, I peek down into one of their purses without being seen. It was fairly easy to do.

I kid you not. There in the purse was a big ol’ can of Bushes Baked Beans. I literally felt my eyes grow cold from all the extra air hitting them because of how big they had gotten. Kinda hard not to laugh at it now.

Several items later, I went up to talk to the manager and other CSM to tell them what was going on. The CSM looks over at them and slowly says in an astonished voice, “There is the outline of a can in their purse.” Sure enough, the can had fallen to where its outline could be clearly seen at that point.

I wasn’t allowed to do anything about it. I just told her, “Honey, there’s a whole bunch of food in that thing.” Three sets of lips were heavily bitten for several minutes to keep from smiling and bursting out laughing.

Sloppy thieves.

As soon as they left, I walked over and picked up a price tag they had dropped on the floor. The CSM printed out a copy of their receipt, and these things were left for the thief catcher. She came and talked to me, laughing a lot in the process, then watched the videos. She said she thinks I caught everything but the food that got away in their purse.

I see a lot of thieves where I work. Half the time we just let them go, there’s nothing we can do with a motto like that. Other than laugh, that is, like when they forget to take the sticker price tags off the backs of their shirts. Oooohhhhh, we laugh.

Recent Catastrophe

I haven’t blogged in forever, but there’s a reason. I’m lazy. Well, and I don’t have time. I’ve had to stop writing for nearly a week at this point. See, my husband got an abscessed tooth and was put on amoxicillin. He had two teeth removed and remained on the drug for a while. Two days after his last dose, he broke out into a rash.

I was at work and having my own rash trouble. It was under my right armpit. When my husband texted me that he had an all over body rash, I put two and two together. My coworkers tell me it’s shingles. Next thing I know, I’m standing topless in the manager’s office while two female managers stick their noses in my unshaved, rashy pit. I was not prepared for this level of intimacy.

I was told it wasn’t shingles, and I figured it to be a wardrobe malfunction and bought me some Body Glide for future use. It is a tiny bottle and $8. I have no idea if it works or not, but it comes highly recommended by my runner friends.

That night’s not that big of a deal, but the next morning, my husband and dad go to Cookeville for the day to run some errands. Good thing too, because the reaction got worse. My husband ran into the walk-in associated with our doctor and was given a steroid shot. A few hours later, on the interstate headed back home, his tongue starts to swell. We’re thinking it’s a reaction to the steroids. It wasn’t.

He ran to our doctor and was immediately seen. They gave him another shot and brought every doctor in the building there to look at him, said it was the worst reaction they had seen to amoxicillin. He was given 4 Rx’s (Pepsid, Sinclair, Medrol-a tapering steroid, and Benedryl) on top of his maintenance Allegra, which he has since doubled in dose.

This was Monday afternoon. Wednesday morning, my dad is in Ohio, and my husband wakes up at three AM itching so bad he can’t go back to sleep. By ten that night, we head to the ER. We’re told his steroids from Monday wore off and he’s filled with a cocktail of IV steroids, Sinclair, Pepsid-basically what he’s already on, just mega doses. A couple of hours later, we’re sent home, better but scared of another attack.

We got home at three AM Thursday morning. I went to work Thursday night, 3-11, but there was another catch. In our late night stupid of terror, we left the inside light on in the car and the battery died. I had to drive the truck. Not a big deal, but I’m not used to it, and so my leg hurt all night from having to use that ginormous clutch. (It’s not a small truck).

The ER doctor told us to ask his regular doctor to double the steroid pack. We called and left a message. While I’m at work, they call to say they’ve called in a Rx. As I’m sure you know, my husband is disabled and unable to drive. He walks down the road begging at neighbors’ doors until he finds one at home. The neighbor takes him to Crossville, a thirty minute trip one way, to get (get this) the WRONG Rx. Gotta love doctors. For whatever reason, my husband pays for it anyway (eye roll). I call the on-call doctor and get the correct one called in. Right as the pharmacy closed. Sigh. So I got to spend the rest of the night waiting to see if my husband was going to go into anaphylaxis, and I was going to have to leave work, drive the 30 minutes home coupled with the hour to the closest hospital that won’t kill him all in time for him to survive. OK. Other than that, Thursday was pretty good. Work was going to throw out seven pounds of chicken tenders, so my freezer now has several meals of chicken in it.

Friday (no, the adventure isn’t over yet, sorry) we took a trip to Crossville, the pharmacy we told them not to send it to, and picked up his new steroids. A bit of relief spread through us. I then set out in the newly charged car that afternoon for work and run over this—

Yee gads!! While I’m trying to change my tire into my donut spare and call work to say I’ll be late, a guy shows up to help. Nice of him, but pointless as I have two different sized lug bolts on this wheel. Great. My husband gets the same neighbor to meet me. They change my tire, find one of the lugbolts is stripped, and follow me to the tire place not far from our house. I’m thinking, I’ll leave the car here, grab the truck, go to work, and pick it up Monday. It needed four new tires anyway, what’s the big deal?

The big deal was they weren’t up for that. They wanted me to stay and wait. So I did. Two hours. By the time I got the car home, there was no reason to go into work, my husband and I are fighting, and I can’t drive the car to work anyway because there’s only three lug nuts on the one tire. I fell exhausted into bed and slept from 8:15 to after midnight and tried to sleep the rest of the night after that.

Yesterday was pretty normal, except for my sore leg, which wasn’t as sore as Thursday. Today is Sunday, my last day until Thursday to work. We already have plans for doctor, dentist, and Dollywood visits (our last trip to Splash Country for the year 😦 ) Monday-Thursday. School starts the next week. Oh, and it’s tax free weekend. Just when you thought work couldn’t get worse. Heaven help me.

The New Laptop

When I started writing, I bought a laptop. I couldn’t afford the prices but by a miracle, found a used one for $250. It was an HP Pavilion dv6. It was made in 2012. Brand new, it was $750. Alas, this poor laptop is now limping its last limps.

I had tolerated the BSOD (blue screen of death) for years. It came and went without rhyme or reason. Its parameters were just as random, sometimes the same, other times not. Nowhere online could tell me what the parameters meant. They either weren’t listed or came up as “random memory failure”. My frustration and fear had mounted to where I relinquished in buying a new one.

I thought, “I’ll try to keep it around the $250. I mean, come on, I’m trying to match a five year old device, so it shouldn’t be that expensive.” Please, save your laughter for later.

Upon browsing Amazon, my price slowly rose, with great opposition, until it was around $500. I found one, but it was plastic, not metal, and one reviewer said not to use it for Photoshop, etc, you know, what I’ll be using it for. My Dad offered a Macbook, but I’d rather die. Literally. My hatred for Macs only grew when I was forced to use one at the law office. Not a single person there liked them or could use them. They came to me for help, even the networking professional complained about it. I remapped the keyboards to that of a PC, something the other secretary asked me to do to hers as well. But I digress.

When we went on our anniversary trip, Arlis said to try Best Buy. It was on the way, why not? Oh I found the equivalent of what I had in metal, etc. For $800. I was MAD (I’m still pretty peeved). Why should I pay MORE for a device equivalent to that of five years ago?!?!?!

Computers go through this wavy phase of good machines/bad machines, good prices/bad prices. Right now we’re in a bad machine/bad price phase, hence why I built my past desktop, which still out performs most new ones. The public has been brainwashed to think it’s all about RAM when it’s not. The CPU is vital, something the Best Buy salesman agreed with me on. Don’t get me wrong, RAM is important, but it is useless without the processing power required. It’s like feet without legs.

So anyway, I bring home the new laptop and find a black line down the monitor. I didn’t really care, but online said it would only get worse. We exchanged it for a new one, and now I’m spending FOREVER downloading all the software I need to install in order to see if it will even run what I need it to.

This is part of why I’m so discouraged of late. My schedule has been drastically held back when it was already months behind. I accept that I’ll never catch up, but I don’t want to make it worse!

There is some solace. I posted about my BSOD on a professional forum. After two days, ZERO response on a very active forum. Now, this could mean they don’t take me seriously enough to respond, but I don’t think so. I honestly believe it’s because I made the right decision and got a new machine before the old one bit the dust. I’m just happy I saved all my books in time. That last error message was scary!!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I haven’t run in nearly a week due to our trip, and I have some frustration to remove. Running always makes me feel better.

Living in Limbo

I am currently waiting. I’m waiting on everything. I’m waiting for my back to heal, waiting to see what the doctor says, waiting for Amazon to update my blasted cover so I can PROMOTE IT WITH SALES!!!

Breathe…breathe…

But I digress. (Not really, it’s just a fun sentence to say)

I took a muscle relaxer last night. I hate taking those. They’re basically sleeping pills, and I don’t think they help, at least not enough to counter balance imo. But, I need to do something to show I’m trying, right?

I just can’t get motivated today. I know. I know. Motivation isn’t required to get to work. I have a lot of work to do, I’m just having a hard time getting started. I slept in, and now I’m trying to build myself up to get things done. It’s just so depressing.

I thrive on routine. No, I require routine. I have to have a schedule to get things done, to keep myself sane. And I have had to recreate that schedule three times in two weeks. Furthermore, even though I’m currently recreating a schedule in my head to follow, I know it’s only temporary. I know that the visit to the doctor will more than likely change everything. I know that I’m still trying to find non-back breaking work until and after then, no matter what he says, and that will undoubtedly change my schedule yet again, so…

I am waiting.

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